Hard-up drivers are being hit with fresh penalties for using diesel vehicles, amid claims Labour’s ‘war on motorists’ is continuing.
Town hall bosses at a slew of mostly Labour-run councils have started introducing surcharges for those using vehicles with higher emissions.
More than half of councils in London, almost all of which are Labour-controlled, now have some sort of scheme where cleaner cars pay less to park than more polluting vehicles.
Residents’ permits will cost hundreds of pounds a year more for those with diesel vehicles in some areas.
And in Labour-run Lambeth, motorists with any diesel car will pay a surcharge of more than £4 per hour to park on the street in Waterloo, south London, with a maximum tariff of £13.32 per hour.
Hard-up drivers are being hit with fresh penalties for using diesel vehicles, amid claims Labour ’s ‘war on motorists’ is continuing (stock photo)
A handful of councils outside of the M25 have also recently introduced emissions-based parking charges, and campaigners warned others could follow suit.
Tory MP Louie French, whose Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency was impacted by London mayor Sadiq Khan’s controversial Ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) expansion last month, said: ‘Labour’s war on motorists shows no sign of slowing.
‘First it was low-traffic neighbourhoods, then the unfair Ulez expansion to the suburbs, and now it’s the roll out of 20mph on main roads and taxing you more for parking a car they don’t approve of.
‘Targeting people who are more likely to own older cars because they are retired or on lower incomes is wrong, and it is highly questionable how a parked car can generate emissions.
‘Yet again this shows that you just cannot trust Labour. These lefty councils need to get a grip, stop reading Mayor Khan’s playbook, and start listening to residents and small businesses.’
James Watkins, head of policy and public impact at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said people in the capital should not be penalised ‘with unfair parking charges’.
He said: ‘To charge hard pressed London businesses – who are doing the right thing by applying for funding to change their vehicles – with additional car parking charges is a hard pill to take during this cost-of-living crisis.
‘Tackling emissions must bring people together – not drive them apart. With the need to get people back to the High Street, we should do everything we can to revitalize local shopping centres – not impair them.’
Tory MP Louie French, whose Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency was impacted by London mayor Sadiq Khan’s controversial Ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) expansion last month, said: ‘Labour’s war on motorists shows no sign of slowing’
Of the 32 London borough councils, 18 have some form of emissions-based charges in place for either local authority facilities or for residents’ parking, according to analysis by the Daily Mail.
Of these, 14 are Labour-run councils, two are Tory, one is held by the Aspire party, and one is under no overall control.
In Hackney, the Labour council fixed its prices for residents’ permits for the next few years, with some drivers likely to see parking fees rise from just over £549 to more than £1,243 by 2028 – well above the £54 paid by those with the cleanest vehicles. Diesel vehicles also attract a £200 surcharge.
In neighbouring Haringey, another Labour stronghold, the cleanest vehicles pay £34.10 for an annual residents’ permit, with £328.90 for the dirtiest.
Motorists looking to use car parks in Islington, represented in Parliament by Labour front bencher Emily Thornberry and former party leader Jeremy Corbyn, will be faced with a surcharge of £6.50 per hour if they use a diesel vehicle.
A small number of emissions-based parking charges have also been introduced outside of London.
Lib Dem-run Bath and North East Somerset last week brought in new charges which will see diesel users have to pay up to 80p an hour more to park than cleaner vehicles.
Sheffield City Council – which has a ‘rainbow coalition’ of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens – has a green parking permit which allows Ultra Low Emission Vehicles that meet the certain criteria to park in the city centre for free.
Labour-run City of York offers a 50 per cent discount on certain types of parking permit for those with low-emission vehicles.
A small number of emissions-based parking charges have also been introduced outside of London. Pictured: ULEZ sign on Brownhill Road in Lewisham, south London
Jemima Hartshorn, founder and director of environmental campaign group Mums for Lungs, backed the charges.
She said: ‘We do believe that in this difficult situation of a public health crisis across the country caused by air pollution, we need to look at the single biggest contributors (of pollution) and diesel vehicles are one of them, so we need to disincentivise them.’
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘The Conservatives have hammered motorists and stood idly by while petrol prices soared, car insurance rocketed, and fewer potholes get fixed.
‘If the Tories want to complain about these charges, why don’t they start with the Tory environment department which says parking charges ‘complement’ their air quality strategy? Or the Conservative-run Councils up and down the country who have introduced them.’